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ON SIR WILLIAM TRUMBAL,
One of the principal Secretaries of State to King WILLIAM III., who having resigned his Place, died in his Retirement at Easthamsted, in Berkshire, 1716.
A PLEASING Form; a firm, yet cautious Mind;
Ver. 5. a Patriot too;] It was unsuitable to the nicety required in short compositions, to close his verse with the word too; every rhyme should be a word of emphasis, nor can this rule be safely neglected, except where the length of the poem makes slight inaccuracies excusable, or allows room for beauties sufficient to overpower the effects of petty faults.
At the beginning of the seventh line the word filled is weak and prosaic, having no particular adaptation to any of the words that follow it. Johnson,
Dr. Johnson further objects to this Epitaph, because the name
of the person on whom it was written is omitted-a fault which he thinks scarcely any beauty can compensate. To this he adds, that "it is wholly without elevation, and contains nothing striking or particular, &c." The former observation seems well founded; but the many peculiarities of character enumerated in the Epitaph prevent our acceding to the latter. Dr. Warton remarks that "the whole of this epitaph is one string of antithesis throughout;" which may be admitted, without any great censure; as qualities appear stronger when placed in opposition to each other.
ON THE HON. SIMON HARCOURT,
ONLY SON OF THE LORD CHANCELLOR HARCOUrt,
At the Church of Stanton-Harcourt in Oxfordshire,
To this sad Shrine, whoe'er thou art! draw near, Here lies the Friend most lov'd, the Son most dear: Who ne'er knew Joy, but Friendship might di
gave his Father Grief but when he died.
How vain is Reason, Eloquence how weak! If Pope must tell what HARCOURT cannot speak. Oh let thy once-lov'd Friend inscribe thy Stone, And, with a Father's sorrows mix his own!
Ver. 1. To this sad shrine,] This Epitaph is principally remarkable for the artful introduction of the name; which is inserted with a peculiar felicity, to which chance must concur with genius;
which no man can hope to attain twice, and which cannot be copied but with servile imitation.
I cannot but wish that of this inscription, the two last lines had been omitted, as they take away from the energy what they do not Johnson. add to the sense.
Ver. 4. but when he died] These were the very words used by Louis XIV. when his Queen died, 1683; though it is not to be imagined they were copied by Pope. Such coincidences in writers Warton.
are not uncommon.
ON JAMES CRAGGS, ESQ.
REGNI MAGNE BRITANNIE A SECRETIS
PRINCIPIS PARITER AC POPULI AMOR ET DELICIA:
ANNOS, HEU PAUCOS, XXXV.
OB. FEB. XIV. MDCCXX.
Statesman, yet Friend to Truth! of Soul sincere, In Action faithful, and in Honour clear!
* He was the only son of James Craggs, who has been before mentioned. He had his education at a French seminary in Chelsea; from thence he went to Hanover, thence to the Court of Turin. He removed to Barcelona, and in the absence of Lord Stanhope, he afterwards served as Under-Minister to the Emperor. Upon the death of Queen Ann, he was sent to Hanover, for which he was made, by the assistance of the Duke of Marlborough, Cofferer to the Prince, and afterwards Principal Secretary of
Who broke no Promise, serv'd no private End,
Prais'd, wept, and honour'd, by the Muse he lov'd.
State. Considering the violent state of parties, no one had fewer enemies. His generosity, good-nature, pleasing manners, and liberal heart, were acknowledged by all. Though the friend of Addison, and raised by the Whigs, yet his manly generosity to Pope is well-known. The only thing that has appeared to cast a momentary shade, if I may so say, on his character, was his connection with the unfortunate South-Sea business. According to the Committee of Secrecy, no less a sum than 36,000l. fictitious stock was held for him and his father. Upon the great alarm and subsequent distress of the public, the elder Craggs died suddenly, not without suspicion that he had hastened his own dissolution. Possibly the violent agitation of his spirits produced a fever, which terminated fatally. The late Lord Orford informed Mr. Coxe, that he had an interview with Sir Robert Walpole, just at the time of the rupture of the scheme, and he appeared in such a state of violent agitation and distress, that Sir Robert expressed little surprise when he heard afterwards of his death. He left three daughters, all married, and connected with families whose descendants are at this day as high in station, as most amiable in life.
Craggs, notwithstanding he was a pleasant companion, and a particular favourite, it is said, with the Ladies, was very attentive to business. I have a letter now before me, from Methuen to Doddington, in which he says, "Mr. Walpole minds his hunting "in Norfolk, but Mr. Secretary Craggs, and your humble servant, "with some few of his brethren of the Privy Council, stick close "to business."
Johnson with justice objects to an Epitaph, partly in Latin, and partly in English. Bowles.
Ver 1. Statesman, yet Friend to Truth!] These verses were originally the conclusion of the Epistle to Mr. Addison on his Dialogue on Medals, and were adapted as an Epitaph by an alteration in the last line, which in the Epistle stood
"And prais'd unenvied by the Muse he lov'd." Johnson's principal objection to this Epitaph is, what he denominates the absurdity of joining in the same inscription, Latin and English, or verse and prose. "Such an epitaph," says he, 66 resembles, the conversation of a foreigner, who tells part of his meaning by words, and conveys part by signs."
No censure can prevent these lines from being considered as a manly, eloquent, and affectionate tribute to the memory of the person whose character they perpetuate.
THY Reliques, RowE! to this sad shrine we trust,
To these, so mourn'd in death, so lov'd in life!
The following is the Epitaph as it was originally written; but which